The Howard family – the Dukes of Norfolk – were the wealthiest and most powerful aristocrats in Tudor England, regarding themselves as the true power behind the throne. They were certainly extraordinarily influential, with two Howard women marrying Henry VIII – Anne Boleyn and the fifteen-year-old Catherine Howard. But in the treacherous world of the Tudor court no faction could afford to rest on its laurels. The Howards consolidated their power with an awesome web of schemes and conspiracies but even they could not always hold their enemies at bay.
This was a family whose history is marked by treason, beheadings and incarceration – a dynasty whose pride and ambition secured only their downfall.